Residents move as Masinga Dam nears overflow | The Star, Kenya Skip to main content
May 25, 2018

Residents move as Masinga Dam nears overflow

A woman washes her cloths outside her make shift house at Tana river bridge after  they were displaced by floods at Mororo./STEPHEN ASTARIKO
A woman washes her cloths outside her make shift house at Tana river bridge after they were displaced by floods at Mororo./STEPHEN ASTARIKO

Residents in Garissa and Mororo, Tana River, are in panic after Energy CS Charles Keter announced Masinga Dam will start overflowing at any time ­by Friday.

Keter, at a press briefing on Tuesday, urged the residents of Garissa, Hola, Garsen and Bura to move to higher ground to avoid the expected flooding.

On Wednesday last week, Solai Dam in Nakuru county burst and swept about 50 people to their death. Government engineers are inspecting other dams to see if they are structurally sound and if they were built legally.

Masinga Dam, one of the largest in the country, feeds four downstream dams that are already full. According to Keter, once Kiambere Dam overflows, it will probably take four days for the water to reach Garissa town and soon after the lower Tana Delta.

A spot check in the flood-prone areas close the River Tana showed residents have started packing their belongings and moving.

These areas include Bulla Sheikh, Windsor, Bulla Punda, Bulla Iftin, Mororo, Ziwani and Bakuyu.

Those who spoke to reporters said they will not take chances this time round.

"Last time, when KenGen issued an advisory, most of us ignored it, only to pay dearly. We lost property worth millions of shillings. I don’t want it to happen again,” Mohamed Abdi, a resident of Bulla Sheikh, said.

"I have been looking for a house to rent for two weeks and decided on Sunday to come back after rains subsided. I am shocked more devastating floods will occur any time."

Irene Ndanu was loading her belongings into a pick-up truck in Windsor also said she was horrified that more floods were coming.

"I can’t believe it. I just came back to my rental house over the weekend. There are no rentals in Garissa, so I’ll have to stay with a friend while I look," Ndanu said.

Spillage of Kindaruma Dam last month left more than 2,000 families displaced and destroyed property and irrigation farms.

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